Today is Beethoven’s 250th birthday.
Public domain via Wikimedia Commons
While the great German composer Ludwig van Beethoven was baptized on December 17th, his birthday was probably December 16th. But confusion about the actual date hasn’t stopped concerts around the world from hosting celebrations in honor of Beethoven, who was born 250 years ago, this week.
The Colorado Symphony had birthday parties across the state but had to cancel them because of the pandemic; Instead, the orchestra offers virtual tributes on its social media channels. And it’s not the only party provider.
Here are the four best ways to celebrate:
A Beethoven birthday party
The whole week
The Colorado Symphony honors Beethoven throughout the week with virtual tributes on its social media channels. This series includes this video by the spoken word poet Frankie Le’Troy, who is performing his work “Lift Every Voice” with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 as part of the MusiCurious Youth Concerts 2020/21. It’s free to see here.
Incessant humming: Beethoven 2020
Saturday, December 19, 7 p.m. and Sunday, December 20, 2 p.m.
On the occasion of Beethoven’s 250th. Artistic director Barbara Hamilton asked award-winning actor-director Mare Trevathan and playwright Jeffrey Neuman, who is himself severely hearing impaired, to help create the piece. The task was daunting, says Neuman, “because I wanted to serve Beethoven well – both for music and for people – and because I had never really written about hearing loss, a subject that got a little too close to me.” acclaimed actors Chris Kendall as Beethoven and Chelsea Frye as Elise – a name familiar to any piano student who has ever tried Beethoven’s lyrical Fur Elise (Bagatelle No. 25 in A minor). It is a fusion of artistic disciplines and a deep homage to the great composer. Tickets are $ 25 for families, $ 10 for individuals, and $ 5 for students / unemployed at coloradochamberplayers.org.
The big cat
The whole week
The guitar and violin shredder The Great Kat has just debuted Beethoven’s “Pastoral Symphony for Guitar and Symphony” on video, which includes thunderstorms, fire, lightning, Beethoven and Zeus, all of which come together to create Beethoven’s “Pastoral Symphony” (Symphony No. 6) bring to life. It’s free to see here.
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Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in three movements
Saturday, December 19, 12 noon
In honor of Beethoven’s birthday, the Colorado Springs Philharmonic is partnering with Rocky Mountain Women’s Film to screen the HBO documentary Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements, a deeply personal memory of a deaf boy growing up, his deaf grandfather growing old, and Beethoven the year he was overshadowed by deafness and wrote his iconic sonata. The demonstration is free.
Do you know any other Beethoven birthday events? Send information to [email protected]